Have been toying with the idea of starting a food blog for a while..and what better time to start than the new lunar year? So here goes....
Our family reunion dinner this year was more posh than usual, because my dad decided to have it at the Spice Market Cafe at Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa. This would mark my second time eating at the spice market with its open style kitchen, and I am still overwhelmed by the sheer variety of food they serve at the buffet! There's the sushi bar, the salad bar, the cold cuts, the soups and breads, the noodle station, the chinese herbal/sharkfin soups, the chinese dishes, the roast station, the action station, the tandoori & satay section, the western dishes and the scrumptious delectable dessert section... whew!!Plus, the decor and ambience of the place still delights me!
The various spices (available for sale) on display upon entering the Spice Market Cafe.
I don't think anyone can sample all of the different types of food available and as for me, my normal practice at buffets would be to skip most of the mains and leave space for dessert. But that night, I decided that I just had to eat more of the mains that looked so tempting.
Fresh cold flower crabs on ice. Mini mandarin oranges were part of the decor in line with the Chinese New Year theme. They also served lobsters and yabbies in the same style.
The bread spread... my favourite! I know most people would advice against eating filling carbs, but I beg to differ. There's nothing quite like freshly baked breads and buns especially those baked with some chillies and spices!
'Yee Sang' served especially for the Chinese New Year. There was a eager chef on hand to help mix the various ingredients for a perfect plate of tasty yee sang.
The roast section... the cafe changes the menu slightly by serving different types of roast. That night featured roast beef and condiments.
The most popular section of the whole buffet was the 'Action Station'. As the name suggests, this is where all the action is... as guests queue up to request for their seafood cooked on the spot. The action station features crowd favourites - lobsters, crabs, prawns and fish (all the expensive stuff...heehee
). All cooked in a tangy sweet and sour sauce.
Other choices of main courses included a noodle station where we could order 'laksa'.
I also had my fill of chicken herbal soup (they had shark's fin soup during my previous visit), tandoori prawns with naan and curry, pan fried salmon and spanish paela. While I was almost full to the brim, my family also had baked oysters and helped themselves to the sushi bar and cold cuts.
Last but not least was the very attractive looking dessert station. I liked the way they served the desserts - like mini dessert tapas. Each was a mini masterpiece on its own. One of the house favourites, I was told by the chef, was their creamy tiramisu, served in a small short glass. In addition to these mini desserts, they also had an array of cakes and tarts. That night I also tried the macademia pie/tart which was very tasty. They also served local desserts like ice kacang with a selection of ice cream and some festive new year cookies.
Another star atrraction would definitely be the chocolate fountain. This time they had both dark and white chocoloate fountains. Various cut pieces of fruit and marshmallow on sticks are lined up by the side, ready for chocolate coating! Children and adults alike find the chocolate fountain fascinating. We had the good fortune of sitting just next to the chocolate fountain. And so managed to witness a cute chubby little girl of about 5 years old, making her way to the fountain and standing on tip toe to dip her marshmallow sticks into the chocolate... and later dripping all the chocolate back to her table! And this she repeated like 5-6 times!
Another favourite section of mine at the Spice Market Cafe is the juice/wine bar. The colourful fruits and bottles of wine/liquor lined up along the walls make for a very pleasant vibrant display! Unfortunately, fresh juices are not part of the buffet and is chargeable.
Another look at the juice bar
On display - Tools used to make 'kuih kapek', a traditional chinese new year biscuit.
All in all it was a wonderful dinner with good food and great ambience. For Chinese New Year, the price increased to RM150++ per head. And some may have complaints that their menu did not differ much from their regular buffet and most things remain the same. But with the sheer variety of food, one can come back often to sample things they missed during their last trip.
I would say that the Spice Market Cafe is a place to bring family and close friends to celebrate a special occasion. And what could be more special than a reunion dinner? :)